Microsoft’s new free anti-virus

Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) is the brand’s new free anti-virus product. Trial version of the product has already been launched in US, Brazil, China and Israel. 2009 seems to be Microsoft’s year of relaunches with improvements. Bing was launched earlier as an effective search engine to answer Google’s mesmerising popularity after Microsoft’s previous version Live Search failed to create any ripples in the search engine market. Now its the turn of MSE which is being called an essential security solution. Windows Live One Care, the previous security package, failed to attract much fan following and accordingly met its end. But the real question is how essential is the MSE? Competing security application manufacturers have already suggested that the MSE is of course no match to their paid security packages. Some others are concerned that Microsoft’s global recognition and popularity with computer users may well end up making the users perceive the MSE as a total answer to cyber security worries. Read the BBC News Report .

What needs to be identified is that Microsoft’s free anti-virus is probably just a solution for those users who prefer not to spend any money on security thus exposing their computers to innumerable attacks. The free anti-virus perhaps will encourage a larger number of users to opt for MSE thereby reducing the risks compared to previously when the users had absolutely no security applications. Despite news and awareness about cyber crimes, hacking and intrusion attempts, it is alarming as to how many cyber users still venture out into the cyberspace without even installing a basic anti-virus package on their machines.

As far as MSE is concerned, the final verdict is yet to come in…

As far as cyber security is concerned, it is still preferable to opt for a complete updated security suite from one of the most reputed and recognised brands with a minimum of built in anti-virus, anti-spyware and anti-spam modules.

Email Virus ratio highest in India

Email viruses are increasing alarmingly in India. According to Messagelabs Intelligence Reports, global ratio of email-borne viruses in email traffic seem to be getting less intense as compared to the statistics available since 2005.  The February 2009 global ratio indicates that 1 in 304.9 emails (0.33%) are spam mails which is roughly a decrease of 0.06% since January 2009 and if compared to the 2005 stats the situation seems much better as the global ratio then was at an alarming rate of 1 in 12.9 emails being spam mails. However the news is not all that good for Indian cyber users considering the results of the virus rate charts for worst affected geographical locations published by Messagelabs Report for February 2009. Virus activity in India reportedly has arisen by 0.16% amounting to 1 in 197.4 emails thus catapulting India to the No. 1 position for most virus activity in the world for the month of February 2009. The Report puts Germany, United Kingdom, Canada and Hong Kong behind India as the Top 5 Geographies for virus rates globally.

 

This is concerning news for online users in India where the country’s Internet population is growing at a rapid rate with broadband Internet reaching large populations and Internet Service Providers coming out with more economic and affordable tariffs. World statistics on Internet usage (Internetworldstats) for 2008 suggest that India is No. 4 among the Top 20 Countries for highest number of Internet users. China, USA and Japan occupy the first three positions respectively in the table.

 

With spammers and virus originators targeting the Indian cyberspace more than ever before it needs to be seen how the recent changes in the cyber laws of the country help fight this growing menace. The Information Technology Act amendments, although has supporters and detractors on equal measure, is yet to be notified and only time will tell whether the current Indian cyber laws help deter this alarming influx of spam and viruses into the country.

 

There is  no question however that Internet population in the country is only going to grow larger and hence awareness about cyber security, privacy and laws for Internet users need to be highly prioritised. With knowledge about cyber crime prevention and data protection made more readily available, cyber users in the country will probably get more equipped to counter modern abuses like phishing, spam, advance fee frauds, malware attacks and other cyber scams operating extensively on the web.